Stormwater Drainage Problems to your area and Property

Understanding stormwater drainage problems and resolving issues.

Understanding Stormwater

In urbanised areas like Cumberland city area, stormwater is usually collected by private and public drainage systems and carried to a waterway.

Excessive stormwater runoff can lead to flooding if the drainage system exceeds capacity or becomes blocked. Stormwater flooding is known as minor or nuisance flooding.

Stormwater runoff can also lead to water pollution. Stormwater that runs off hard surfaces like roads and roofs carries pollutants like litter, sediments, oils, fertilisers, detergents, and bacteria, which can cause significant environmental and social impacts to waterways.

Responding to Stormwater Problems

Stormwater problems on Council land (or private property containing Council infrastructure) should be reported to Council. Stormwater issues on NSW Government land, such as highways and railways, should be reported to those government agencies.

Basic information on the public stormwater drainage network can be collected from Council by callingMore detailed information can be requested from Council (fees apply). 

Stormwater problems on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. Council will investigate only if the natural flow of stormwater runoff has been altered by a property owner to the detriment of another property owner.

This may include situations where stormwater flow from one property to another has been deliberately concentrated, or where there is defective private drainage.

Stormwater problems involving private inter-allotment drainage are the responsibility of the property owners. 

When will Council act?

Cumberland City Council will examine and address stormwater drainage complaints specifically in cases where the issue relates to the movement of surface water from one property over the shared land boundary to another property.

The following criteria must also apply:

  • Surface water has been channelled to a specific location through a man-made structure or drainage system.
  • The water has resulted in or is likely to result in substantial soil erosion or damage to a building.
  • Surface water originates from faulty roof drainage in a dwelling or outbuildings i.e., roof of car port, sheds, granny flat etc.

When will Council not act?

We will not act when:

  • The surface water consists of natural run-off from the property (or those situated above) and isn't redirected in any way.
  • Water flows along existing hard surface areas, such as driveways, tennis courts, concrete slabs, or paved sections.
  • The positioning of a residence or outbuilding structure influences the movement of surface run-off.
  • Run-off occurs as a consequence of exceptionally heavy rainfall.
  • Surface water arises from overflows in stormwater absorption pits, where the land contours and lack of access prevent roof water from connecting to the drainage system.
  • the run-off is from new development work that has been constructed in accordance with the consent
  • The drainage issue involves discharges from defective or blocked private inter-allotment drainage easements, which fall under the responsibility of the respective property owners.

How do I approach Council?

Please contact with Council via phone or email or by visiting one of the customer service locations. Please provide the following information to us in writing:

  • A description of what is happening.
  • When did it happen and how often?
  • Have you reported the issue to Council before?

Where is the source of water?

  • Describe how your land or building is being damaged or is likely to be damaged. (You should include a written report from a suitably qualified person).
  • Have you obtained professional advice as to the source of the stormwater issue?
  • Have you discussed the matter with your neighbour?
  • Photos or a video of the problem as it is occurring, including the date and time.

For further information regarding stormwater runoff and drainage problems from private dwellings, please contact with the Environmental Health or Compliance Unit.

Stormwater for new development

Stormwater management for new development needs to comply with relevant environmental planning instruments, Part G of DCP and associated specifications and policies.

Requests to access or modify Council’s stormwater drainage infrastructure as part of any proposed development must be made in accordance with Council’s procedures.